COTABATO CITY: The Board of Investments in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BOI-ARMM) is enabling the region’s various industry players, businesses, and local government units (LGUs) in crafting their localized version of national industry roadmaps to achieve further growth and competitiveness.
Lawyer Ishak Mastura, BOI-ARMM chairman, emphasized the importance of customized industry roadmaps for the region considering the rapid developments in the business sector.
“In an age where there are no more trade borders, our industries in the region should shape up and move up. Though we are independent from the rest of the regions in the country, it is important to link and align our strategies with that of the national level,” Mastura said.
The ARMM roadmaps are focused on coffee, cacao, rubber, and palm oil that were earlier identified as agriculture-based produce with potentials for growth and can be aligned and linked to the national industry roadmaps.
Meanwhile, DTI-ARMM secretary Anwar Malang conveyed gratitude to BOI and DTI national office for introducing the Industry Roadmapping Program to the region.
“At least our region is not neglected at all. Here in ARMM, we can craft our localized roadmaps,” he said.
Malang also said the ARMM’s Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Program (AICCEP) in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is geared towards capacitating the region’s industry stakeholders in clustering and providing mapping for various industries such as coconut and palm oil in Maguindanao; cassava and abaca in Lanao del Sur; seaweeds in Tawi-Tawi; coffee in Basilan; and coffee and cacao in Sulu.
“Our vision is for our industries to be competitive and to improve the lives of our people in the region. I do hope there will come a time when we will no longer need the 4Ps and that we will have freedom from hunger by providing better incomes for our people through livelihood and business programs,” Malang added.
Similarly, Trade Assistant Secretary for Industry Development Rafaelita Aldaba, who explained the country’s new industrial policy that links local producers to global value chains (GVC), said ARMM offers a lot of economic opportunities given its inherent strengths in the agriculture sector.
“There is no reason for ARMM to be poor. We can transform the region by moving from traditional agriculture into more modern agri-business to allow us to confidently participate in GVCs,” she stressed.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL